How to compare alphanumeric values in two columns in Excel?

If you have two list of alphanumeric text values, and now, you need to compare these two columns and find the duplicate or unique values. Are there any quick methods to solve this problem without check them one by one? In this article, I will talk about some tricks for dealing with this task in Excel.

Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to find the same values

Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to list the different values separately

Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to find the same values

Here is a formula can help you to identify the same alphanumeric values both in column A and column B, please do as this:

Enter this formula: =IFERROR(IF(MATCH(B2,\$A\$2:\$A\$11,0)>0,"Match"),"") (B2 is the cell which you want to compare with another column, A2:A11 is the data list that you want to be compared with ) into a blank cell beside your data columns, and then drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, now, you can see, a text “ Match” is displayed next to the corresponding cell if the cell value both in the two columns, see screenshot:

Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to list the different values separately

To find and list all different strings from the two columns separately, the following VBA code may help you, please do as follows:

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: list the different cell values from two columns separately:

``````Sub Compare()
'Updateby Extendoffice
Dim I As Long, J As Long, K As Long, M As Long
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
J = 1
K = 1
M = Cells(Rows.Count, 2).End(xlUp).Row
Range("D1").Value = "A not in B"
Range("E1").Value = "B not in A"
For I = 2 To M
If IsError(Application.Match(Range("A" & I).Value, Columns("B"), 0)) Then
J = J + 1
Range("D" & J).Value = Range("A" & I).Value
End If
If IsError(Application.Match(Range("B" & I).Value, Columns("A"), 0)) Then
K = K + 1
Range("E" & K).Value = Range("B" & I).Value
End If
Next I
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub
``````

3. Then press F5 key to run this code, and the different values in the two columns will be listed into column D and column E separately as following screenshot shown:

Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to select or highlight the same or different values

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its powerful tool-Select Same & Different Cells, you can quickly compare the alphanumeric strings in two columns and find or highlight the same or different values as quickly as possible.

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After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Select the two columns separately by holding the Ctrl key, and then click Kutools > Select > Select Same & Different Cells, see screenshot:

2. In the Select Same & Different Cells dialog box, please do the following operations:

(1.) Check My data has headers if you needn’t compare the two column headers;

(2.) Select Each row under the Based on section;

(3.) Select Same Values if you want to find the cell values both in the two columns under the Find section;

(4.) If you want to highlight the selected cells with a background or font color, please check Fill backcolor or Fill font color under the Processing of result.

3. After finishing the settings, click Ok button, a prompt box will pop out to remind you how many cells will be selected, at the same time, you can see the same cell values both in column A and column C are highlighted in column A, see screenshot:

Notes:

1. If you select Different Values in the Compare Ranges dialog box, the values only in column A but not in column C are highlighted as following screenshot shown:

2. To select or highlight the same or different values in column C, you just need to swap the two columns in the Find values in and According to text boxes as you need.

Demo: Compare alphanumeric values in two columns to select or highlight the same or different values

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